Senate Passes Bill Requiring Redeployment from Iraq
Whitehouse: It's Time for the President to Change Course
Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) voted with a majority of the Senate today to pass legislation that would compel President Bush to begin redeploying American troops from Iraq within four months, with a goal of having all combat troops out of the country by March 31, 2008.
"The Senate has heard the concerns and deep dissatisfaction of the American people at our course in Iraq, and we have committed to a new direction," Whitehouse said. "When I was in Iraq a few weeks ago I saw first-hand the dedication and mission focus of our troops. This measure ensures they have the funding they need to perform that mission - and a new strategy that's worthy of their sacrifice."
The redeployment date is part of legislation that provides $122 billion in emergency funding primarily for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. On Tuesday, Whitehouse supported a successful effort to keep the redeployment date in the bill. Once the Senate's version is reconciled with similar legislation passed by the House of Representatives, the consensus measure will go to the President's desk for signature or veto.
Whitehouse traveled to Iraq from March 16-19 to meet with American troops and assess the situation on the ground there. While in country, he met with American military commanders, including General David Petraeus; as well as several high-ranking Iraqi officials and members of the U.S. embassy and intelligence staffs. Whitehouse also spoke with Marines from Rhode Island now serving in Fallujah.
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